16 May 2023
French photonics firm signs deal to acquire Italian firm’s Convergent Photonics subsidiary and operations in Boston.
by Mike Hatcher
Lumibird, the Paris-listed laser and photonics company, is set for further expansion with an agreement to acquire parts of the Italian industrial group Prima.
Lannion-headquartered Lumibird will add Prima’s Convergent Photonics subsidiary in Turin, as well Prima Industrie North America, which includes optical assembly and diode mount operations in Boston, US.
“This acquisition gives Lumibird a strategic advantage in high-power semiconductor and fiber lasers and opens up new markets,” stated the company, with the deal expected to boost the French firm’s annual sales revenues by approximately €15 million.
Convergent, which has its origins in the United Technology industrial lasers division, was acquired by Prima back in 2000, and was rebranded as “Convergent Photonics” in 2014.
It began developing medical lasers in 2019, and currently offers a range of industrial and medical sources - including high-power diode emitters, as well as diode-based blue lasers operating at 450 nm.
Last year Prima, whose main business is in laser and sheet metal processing machines and systems, was itself acquired by two private equity funds, Alpha and Peninsula. In December 2022, Giovanni Negri was appointed as the firm’s new CEO.
Broader medical offering
The acquisition should see 80 people in Italy and the US added to the Lumibird employee roster, with the French firm stating:
“This acquisition is a new step in the group's investment strategy, and has a double strategic interest by strengthening its strategic positioning in semiconductors and very-high-power fiber lasers, and by opening up new market segments.
“It will enable Lumibird to become independent in the supply of critical components, and will give it greater capacity for innovation in materials and components.”
The medical side of the Convergent business will also give Lumibird access to emerging laser applications in urology and gynaecology, significantly broadening its existing offering beyond the ophthalmology sector.
CEO Marc Le Flohic said in a company release: “This acquisition strengthens several of our technological pillars and is perfectly in line with Lumibird's strategy of verticalization and sovereignty.
“It allows us to vertically integrate critical semiconductor technologies, to strengthen our sovereignty over laser technologies in Europe, and to diversify into high growth markets.”
Negri added: “After many years of being successfully active in the development an production of laser sources, Prima Industrie has decided to dispose of [its] laser source business unit, Convergent, in order to focus on [the] main business of sheet metal machinery and systems.
“We are pleased to sell it to a player such as Lumibird that will undoubtedly allow Convergent to express all its huge potential, based on a high level of technological know-how.”
The additional business will help Lumibird towards its targeted annual sales turnover of €250 million this year, compared with €191 million in 2022.
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